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An enlightening journey – Thank you for what you taught me

— Seventeen years ago, my daughter sat with my parents in the Solvay High School auditorium as I walked across stage to receive my diploma. This June, the cycle will come full circle as I watch her walk across the stage to get hers.

I think I can safely say watching your child prepare for graduation is an emotional time for all parents. It is acknowledging that you have guided them to this point in their life and accepting that they are ready to make their own way into the world as young adults. As the parent of a graduating senior, I feel privileged to share my story as well as the pride I feel as she embarks upon the next chapter in her life.

Our journey together has been a lesson in what really matters and what carries on; I not only helped mold her into the person she is, but she made me into the person I am today. And it has been an enlightening journey.

Since the day I learned about Cassie, my daughter has served as my driving force to be the best person I could be and hopefully a worthy role model. Before earning my degree and landing my current position as editor, I worked through college at various positions (postal worker, sheet metal worker, bus driver) occasionally losing focus on my goals, but Cassie served as a reminder. When working the night shift and evenings at the post office, I would see Cassie when I got home in the morning to put her on the school bus, then for a short while in the evening after she returned from school before I headed off to work. While this situation worked before she entered school, it no longer sufficed. I needed to watch her grow and learn so I focused on school and getting my degree then finding a position that allowed more quality time with her.

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